Do you ever see any shape or blob when you close your eyes?
Or have you ever seen any circular shape or flashes of light in eyes when you stand up too quickly? Chances are, you have. Most of you experience some weird shapes when you get up too fast or rub your eyes to get rid of laziness.
So, what are those shapes?
Don’t worry, you are not suffering from any serious disease and you don’t have cancer. It’s just an impression of light, which is actually the result of light rays not entering your eyes but making your brain believe, that it did.
The scientific term for this phenomenon is called, ‘ Phosphene’.
But the real trick is performed by the biphotons- photons of light which are produced by a body. Just like the case of fireflies, where they can produce light from their body. I know, humans haven’t reached that stage yet, where they can emit light, but when it comes to the generation of biophotons, humans are pretty good at it.
What triggers biophotons in your eyes?
In order to understand, how this ghost light starts getting generated within you, you need to understand the basics of a human -eye. This is because Phospehen occurs only when one of the three crucial parts of eyes is tricked.
Your eye has three crucial parts that work for its smooth functioning-
Retina- It is located at the back of your eye and senses light
Optical nerve- The nerve that joins your brain and eyes
Occipital lobe- The part of your brain that controls eyesight
When you trick any of those parts, you experience a phosphene. Mostly, there are two ways by which it gets triggered. It can either be a mechanical or electrical stimulation.
This usually occurs when you rub your eyes or press the side of your eyes gently. When you do either of these, your eye thinks that it can be some sort of stimulus of light. Though, your brain can not tell if it was a stimulus from outside or inside of your eyes. This leads to the generation of phosphene and you get flashes of light in eyes.
This also happens when you sneeze too hard or get an accidental blow on your head. Moreover, you get the same effect when you stand up too fast. This happens because it drops your blood pressure and hence leads to flashes of light in eyes.
This one is more of a scientific stimulation which you won’t have access to, in the day to day life. The electrical stimulation is achieved by placing electrodes near optic nerve or occipital lobe.
So, are phosphenes harmful?
Yes and no.
Experiencing phosphene is not harmful. It’s just a stimulation. However, if you often get flashes of light in eyes, it isn’t good. It might be a possible indication that you are suffering from some or the other disease. But, there are few symptoms that you can check for yourself and clear out the doubts.
1. The shape of the flashes is large
Having flashes which look like a large blob or showers is bad. Also, if the number of blobs is increasing, it is the time when you should start thinking about visiting a doctor.
2. Persistent flashes
If you start getting these flashes on an everyday basis, even when you have not stimulated it by rubbing your eyes, you should get concerned.
3. Loss of side vision
This is really dangerous if you experience a loss of your side vision. Some people even get the feeling where it seems the vision is being covered by a curtain.
What could be the reasons?
Phosphenes usually often occur when the vitreous gel pulls away from the back wall of your eye and causes a posterior vitreous detachment. But there could be multiple factors behind it.
To begin with, something is definitely wrong with your eyes. The doctors believe that phosphenes or flashes of light in eyes are the phases of a migraine. Sometimes, migraine can also cause loss of visions or flashes of light in eyes. This is termed as an ocular migraine.
However, to be sure, you need to visit an ophthalmologist.
But it doesn’t mean that this could be the only reason behind it. Those flashes of light in eyes can also be related to multiple sclerosis. This is because- one of the common symptoms of multiple sclerosis is optic neuritis. This occurs when your optic nerve gets inflamed and as a result, you experience phosphene.
But don’t worry,
It is very common for people to get flashes of lights in eyes. So, instead of getting scared, try and understand when you should see a doctor. Keep a healthy diet and make sure that you don’t exhaust yourself to the extent that it affects your blood pressure. You will be fine.
Otherwise, there is nothing to worry about those flashes.